I fear my little child.
I fear that she will not feed and grow strong and healthy,
I fear that she will stop breathing when I am out of the room or selfishly asleep,
I fear that she will become ill because of something I have done or did not do,
I fear that she will be in pain and I will not know why.
I fear that her father will reject her,
I fear that her father will reject me,
I fear that her father will compete for her love and that she will love him more,
I fear that her father will be distant and that she will not love him enough.
I fear that others will think that I am incompetent,
I fear that others will assume that I am capable,
I fear that others will force upon me unhelpful or unwanted advice,
I fear that others will believe I can cope.
I fear the loneliness of endless days without contact,
I fear the emptiness of endless nights without love,
I fear the weakness of endless days without proper meals,
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A Woman, The Oranje And The 2010 World Cup
In a bar in Amsterdam,
I realise how football consumes the soul.
Did I care yesterday whether there had been changes to the team?
Or whether one particular player was match fit?
But, today I am swept along,
I feel the electricity in the air,
The hoping, the waiting, the tension,
The tangible excitement as the team walks out.
I grasp the momentary pride as the national anthem plays
And feel the lump in my throat as I see players join in and sing along.
I’m not even Dutch.
But, I’ve bought the shirt.
Then, as the game progresses I feel the air coarse back and forth,
As each spectator gasps, oohs and ahhs when free kicks go astray and shots on goal are deflected.
I watch fingers twitch, hands wring, and nails being bitten - all in the name of football.
Football, the beautiful game.
Football, the life giving ether that unites a nation and makes busses late.
Soon a hush descends,
As a player (who I don’t know the name of) “storms” his way through to the centre,
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